Theater The Best Musicals Based on Movies  

Buster McDermott
4.9k votes 371 voters 15.7k views 67 items

List Rules Only stage musicals that cite films as their original source material - no adaptations directly from other mediums

List of musicals based on movies, ranked by fans and casual critics. Stage theatre has been a primary form of entertainment for thousands of years, in the forms of plays, operas, and musicals. Around the world, dozens of theatrical performances are brought to life on stages big and small. Most notably, the theatre districts of Broadway in Manhattan and the West End in London are home to the catchiest, most elaborate, most memorable musicals. Nothing is more inspirational than experiencing the art of actors who can also sing and dance with grace and style in front of a large audience of people. It’s no wonder that plays and musicals have remained so popular throughout the years! What are the best musicals based on films?

This list includes the greatest plays and musicals that were inspired by movies, ranked according to the opinions of voters. Which soundtracks have you played nonstop? Which lyrics have you memorized? Some of these plays on this list were smash hit successful Broadway productions that scored several awards and made the actors instant successes. Others are newer shows that are still in trial runs for smaller audiences in cities like Chicago and Los Angeles.

In addition to direct adaptations from film to stage, this list includes musicals inspired by movies that weren't musicals to begin with. Wondering why you don't remember the songs from Billy Elliott or Sunset Boulevard? That's because there weren't any. 
list ordered by

1
149 42
The Lion King is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Mark Mancina , Elton John , Jay Rifkin - The Lion King (1994)

2
116 42
Beauty and the Beast is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Alan Menken , Linda Woolverton , Howard Ashman - Beauty and the Beast (1991)

3
99 47
Mary Poppins is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Richard M. Sherman , Robert B. Sherman , George Stiles - Mary Poppins (1964) and the book series by P.L. Travers

4
102 51
Hairspray is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Scott Wittman , Marc Shaiman , Thomas Meehan - Hairspray (2007), which was based on the movie Hairspray (1988), dir. by John Waters

5
92 44
Newsies (2011) is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Newsies (2011) Newsies (1992)

6
91 51
The Little Mermaid is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Alan Menken , Howard Ashman , Doug Wright - The Little Mermaid (1989)

7
83 45
Chicago is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
unlimitedbroadway added Bob Fosse , Fred Ebb , John Kander

8
73 37
Disney's Aladdin: A Musica... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Disney's Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular (2003) Aladdin (1992)

9
81 47
Little Shop of Horrors is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Alan Menken , Howard Ashman - Little Shop of Horrors (1960)

10
80 47
Legally Blonde: The Musical is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Heather Hach , Laurence O'Keefe , Nell Benjamin - Legally Blonde (2001) and the novel by Amanda Brown

11
63 34
Heathers (2010) is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Heathers (2010) Heathers (1988)

12
63 45
Singin' in the Rain (1983) is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Singin' in the Rain (1983) Singin in the Rain (1952)

13
61 49
Spamalot is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Neil Innes , John Du Prez , Eric Idle - Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

14
67 57
Shrek: The Musical (2008) is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Shrek: The Musical (2008) Shrek (2001), which was based on the book Shrek! (1991) by William Steig

15
57 47
The Producers is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Mel Brooks , Thomas Meehan - The Producers (1968), dir. by Mel Brooks

16
50 42
Footloose is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Eric Carmen , Sammy Hagar , Tom Snow - Footloose (1984)

17
39 31
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Richard M. Sherman , Robert B. Sherman , Jeremy Sams - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)

18
49 45
Billy Elliot the Musical is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Elton John , Lee Hall - Billy Elliot (2000)

19
43 39
Thoroughly Modern Millie is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Jeanine Tesori , Richard Morris , Dick Scanlan - Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967)

20
43 43
Sister Act the Musical is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Alan Menken , Glenn Slater , Cherie Steinkellner - Sister Act (1992)

21
38 37
Kinky Boots (2012) is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Kinky Boots (2012) Kinky Boots (2005)

22
34 33
White Christmas (2004) is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
White Christmas (2004) White Christmas (1954)

23
36 37
Elf: The Musical (2010) is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Elf: The Musical (2010) Elf (2003)

24
44 48
Young Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Irving Berlin , Mel Brooks , Thomas Meehan - Young Frankenstein (1974), dir. by Mel Brooks

25
7 2
A Very Potter Musical is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
JulieBartlett added A Very Potter Musical StarKid Productions

26
31 34
Once (2011) is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Once (2011) Once (2006)

27
27 29
Snow White and the Seven Dwarf... is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1979) Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

28
31 35
A Wonderful Life (1991) is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
A Wonderful Life (1991) It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

29
29 33
Fame (1988) is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Fame (1988) Fame (1980)

30
29 34
Seven Brides for Seven Brother... is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954), which was based on "The Sobbin' Women" by Stephen Vincent Benét

31
35 42
9 to 5 (2008) is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
9 to 5 (2008) 9 to 5 (1980)

32
29 35
Sunset Boulevard is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Christopher Hampton , Don Black , Andrew Lloyd Webber - Sunset Boulevard (1950)

33
26 31
Scrooge is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Leslie Bricusse - Scrooge (1970), which was based on the novella A Christmas Carol (1843) by Charles Dickens

34
29 36
The Wedding Singer is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
The Wedding Singer (2006) Chad Beguelin , Matthew Sklar , Tim Herlihy - The Wedding Singer (1998)

35
26 33
Catch Me If You Can is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Terrence McNally , Scott Wittman , Marc Shaiman - Catch Me If You Can (2002), which was based on the autobiography (1980) by Frank Abagnale, Jr.

36
25 34
42nd Street is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Mark Bramble , Al Dubin , Harry Warren - 42nd Street (1933), which was based on the novel (1932) by Bradford Ropes

37
29 41
Saturday Night Fever is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Nan Knighton - Saturday Night Fever (1977)

38
26 37
The Who's Tommy is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
pigonthewing added Des McAnuff , Pete Townshend

39
24 35
A Christmas Story: The Musical... is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
A Christmas Story: The Musical (2009) A Christmas Story (1983)

40
24 36
Bring It On (2011) is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Bring It On (2011) Bring It On (2000)

41
19 29
Meet Me in St. Louis is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Meet Me in St. Louis (1989) Hugh Wheeler , Hugh Martin , Ralph Blane - Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

42
20 31
Nine is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Maury Yeston , Arthur Kopit - 8½ (1963), dir. by Federico Fellini

43
22 35
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Dean Pitchford , Lawrence D. Cohen -  Carrie (1976)

44
26 42
High School Musical on Stage! is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
David Simpatico - High School Musical (2006)

45
23 38
Tarzan of the Apes is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Tarzan (1999), which was based on Tarzan of the Apes (1912) by Edgar Rice Burroughs

46
21 35
Big: the musical is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
John Weidman , Richard Maltby, Jr. - Big (1988)

47
21 36
Victor/Victoria is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Blake Edwards , Frank Wildhorn , Leslie Bricusse - Victor Victoria (1982)

48
20 36
The Full Monty is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Terrence McNally , David Yazbek - The Full Monty (1997)

49
20 36
Xanadu (2007) is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Xanadu (2007)  Xanadu (1980), which was based on the movie Down to Earth (1947)

50
22 40
Ghost the Musical is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Glen Ballard , Bruce Joel Rubin , David A. Stewart - Ghost (1990)